by Mary Audrey Kneipp

I have no need, no sense of jealousy,
for European villas
steeped in summer sun.
I have and love, right here
at home, the sassy winter wind!

It’s true that out here in the country
the wind will bite our noses, slap
our wind-chapped cheeks,
but we just rush ahead of it
to cluster in the kitchen
at the good wood stove, where
air is warm with fragrances
of cinnamon and cloves. There’s
butter on the table, waiting
for the home-baked bread
that’s in the oven still.
Here, a dozen eggs and nutmeg.
Here’s a keg, for fun.

Outside the cheerful kitchen, its sunny walls
of yellow and its tiles of brown and gold,
the living room is crowded!

There’s dancing, with those show-off
leaps and twirls, and secrets whispered
here with laughter; now everybody knows
the women who are worshiped, and those
crushes on the girls.

Now outdoors the wind has quieted.
The earth reposes, hushed, her comforter
a zillion galaxies. What peaceful plethora!
What perfect weather for abundance
in everything that’s good!

Out here in the country now, the stage
is set for morning. The early sky is
blushing, color of a rose. The sun
comes up, the roosters crow,
And earth is clothed in gold.


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